Electronic Tribes: The Virtual Worlds of Geeks, Gamers, Shamans, and Scammers

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Tyrone L. Adams, Stephen A. Smith
University of Texas Press, Jul 1, 2008 - Computers - 315 pages
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Whether people want to play games and download music, engage in social networking and professional collaboration, or view pornography and incite terror, the Internet provides myriad opportunities for people who share common interests to find each other. The contributors to this book argue that these self-selected online groups are best understood as tribes, with many of the same ramifications, both positive and negative, that tribalism has in the non-cyber world.

In Electronic Tribes, the authors of sixteen competitively selected essays provide an up-to-the-minute look at the social uses and occasional abuses of online communication in the new media era. They explore many current Internet subcultures, including MySpace.com, craftster.org, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, music downloading, white supremacist and other counterculture groups, and Nigerian e-mail scams. Their research raises compelling questions and some remarkable answers about the real-life social consequences of participating in electronic tribes. Collectively, the contributors to this book capture a profound shift in the way people connect, as communities formed by geographical proximity are giving way to communities—both online and offline—formed around ideas.

  

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Contents

CHAPTER 1 A Tribe by Any Other Name Tyrone L Adams and Stephen A Smith
11
Theorizing Online Tribalism Veronica M Davidov and Barbara Andersen
21
Some Theoretical Perspectives and Implications Bolanle Olaniran
36
An Investigation of the Potential Benefi ts of Membership in an ETribe on Public Discourse Christina Standerfer
58
PART II SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF ELECTRONIC TRIBALISM
77
CHAPTER 5 Theorizing the ETribe on MySpacecom David R Dewberry
79
Dialogue and Resistance on craftsterorg Terri L Russ
96
Online Gaming Tribalism Thomas Brignall III
110
Socioforming Cyberspace Ann Rosenthal
159
Music Downloading and the Tribal Landscape Michael C Zalot
177
Tribalization in the Digital Age Leonie Naughton
191
PART IV CYBERCRIME AND COUNTERCULTURE AMONG ELECTRONIC TRIBES
205
Managing Internal and External Threats to Community Online Steve Abrams and Smaragd Grün
207
Aryan Tribalism and Skinhead Cybercrews Jody M Roy
229
Primitivists on the Net Mathieu ONeil
251
Nigerian Igbos in 419 EMail Scams Farooq A Kperogi and Sandra C Duhé
269

A ComputerMediated Ethnography of Tribalism in a Newsgroup from Montserrat and Afar Jonathan Skinner
124
PART III EMERGING ELECTRONIC TRIBAL CULTURES
141
Can Culture Be Formed Electronically? Deborah Clark Vance
143
About the Contributors
289
Index
295
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

TYRONE L. ADAMS is the Richard D'Aquin Professor of Journalism and Communications at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

STEPHEN A. SMITH is Professor of Communication at the University of Arkansas.

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